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From Latin dubius.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈdjuːbi.əs/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈdu.bi.əs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːbiəs


dubious (comparative more dubious, superlative most dubious)

  1. Arousing doubt; questionable; open to suspicion.
    After he made some dubious claims about the company, fewer people trusted him.
    • 2011, Nigel Jones, "A Tale of Two Scandals", History Today, February 2011, Vol. 61 Issue 2, pages 10–17
      Evasive, womanising, boastful, malicious, untrustworthy, an inveterate gambler who combined his mediocre military career with running a high-class brothel, permanently cash strapped and viciously quarrelsome, his character is as dubious as his unsavoury appearance.
    • 2018, James Lambert, “A multitude of ‘lishes’: The nomenclature of hybridity”, in English World-Wide[1], page 2:
      Urban Dictionary records at least 66 of the terms found by the present research, but as this dictionary liberally accepts words, definitions, and sample sentences based solely on the say-so of contributors, in the absence of corroboration from other sources the authenticity of some entries must remain dubious.
  2. In disbelief; wavering, uncertain, or hesitating in opinion; inclined to doubt; undecided.
    She was dubious about my plan at first, but later I managed to persuade her to cooperate.
    • 2010, John M. Broder, "Global Climate-Change Talks Begin in Cancun With More Modest Expectations", New York Times, November 30, Section A, Column 0, Foreign Desk, page 12
      Last year, President Obama had large majorities in Congress and hopes of passing a comprehensive climate and energy bill. Next year, he faces a new Congress much more dubious about the reality of climate change and considerably more hostile to international efforts to deal with it.

Derived terms[edit]


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